Filmmaker Poj Anon, known for his katoey comedies, has announced that "Satree Lek Tob Lok Taek", his remake of "Satree Lek" ("The Iron Ladies") - about the ladyboy volleyball champs - will premiere on New Year's Eve.
The revival of a story that was a commercial hit for GMM Pictures 14 years ago features an all-new cast. Rattapoom “Film” Toekongsap, Paranyu “Tack” Rojanawuttitum and Padung “Jazz Chuanchuen” Songsang are the stars.
Poj spilled earlier that the fact-based story is different from original by Yongyoot Thongkongtoon.
They’ve only recently finished the final scene, he said, because he wanted to include the real-life Thai women’s volleyball team in the film, national heroines after great achievements this year and last. The actual ladies appear in the opening sequence, putting on their usual court magic while the lady-lads of the Satree Lek squad look on gape-mouthed.
“I had to wait two months to get the women’s team for a shoot because they were so busy playing in tournaments,” Poj said. But he got them, and we’ll soon get to see Wilawan Apiyapong, Pluemjit Tinkow, Orn-uma Sittirak, Malika Kanthong and Piyanuch Paennoi in all their glory on the big screen.
This has got to be a clever selling point for the movie and not a bad strategy for the national team either. It’s their film debut, though they’ve done TV shows and commercials. Rumour has it that they were collectively paid Bt7 million for a half day of moonlighting. (Poj prefers the term “seven digits”.)
The closing shoot went so well that a buzz got started. Paired with the announcement of a premiere date, interest is now keen as to whether Poj’s interpretation of “Satree Lek” will be as good (and as popular) as the original.
Quite a few luminaries of the Thai film industry have something in common besides dedication to the silver screen. Thailand’s walking encyclopaedia of movies Kittisak Suwanphokin, directors Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Nonzee Nimitbutr, Pimpaka Towira and the late Cherd Songsri, critics Nara, Kong Rithdee and Pavit Tangaksorn and writer Prabda Yoon all used to get their foreign movies in pirate versions from a shop called Van VDO.
Now they’re all admitting to illegal behaviour in the documentary “The Master”, which opened last week at House cinema on RCA. Nawapol “Ter” Thamrongrattanarit, who directed the hit “Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy”, made “The Master” in homage to the man called Van, the not-so-secret source of the movies that turned these guys into moviemakers.
Through interviews with Van’s illustrious former customers, the documentary takes viewers back in time to the age before bittorrents became the preferred means of obtaining copyrighted films. Ter interviewed 20 directors, critics and radio hosts like Yutthana “Pa Ted” Boon-orm and ended up with 20 hours of footage.
It was a headache to edit when the aim was to be both informative and entertaining. He somehow pared it down to 80 minutes, sweating the whole time. “I could only tell myself repeatedly that it was okay – Mary is happy, Mary is happy!” Ter says on Facebook.
The upside was that learning to chop up film with dexterity also taught him what makes a great screenplay. He listened to 20 different people talking separately about the same topic – in different styles and diverse vocabularies. “I have to hand it to the manut nang [filmmakers] and film critics,” he says. “They’re very lively storytellers. I think every one of them is capable of doing one-man stand-up comedy show.”